From the Tree of Hope in the main lobby to the Lantern of Hope that lights up the night sky, symbols of hope are all around at Banner MD Anderson Cancer Center. But hope is more than a word at the cancer center. It is a symbol of the empowerment patients have to participate in their care.
To our staff, HOPE stands for Helping Oncology Patients to be Empowered. Our staff and physicians provide patients and their loved ones with information, education and support to help them find their own symbols of hope throughout their cancer journey.
Patients, families and staff are greeted by the Lantern of Hope, a four-story aluminum luminaria that glows a rainbow of colors. The luminaria features cutouts shaped like the Palo Verde tree, considered a “nursing plant” for the shelter it provides other desert flora and fauna. The lantern represents the compassionate and dedicated experts who provide shelter and who nurture the patients inside, giving them the hope and strength they need while dealing with their health challenges.
Patients and visitors are encouraged to tie colored ribbons to the Tree of Hope in recognition of those touched by cancer. The Tree of Hope was donated by the Cancer Center’s first CEO Pam Nenaber as a symbol of hope and compassion.
The Garden of Hope provides a momentary escape from treatment for patients and families. Three gardens – the Water, Zen and Togetherness gardens – symbolize the journey patients and their families often travel.
The Water Garden creates a tranquil environment representing the beginning of the cancer journey, while stepping stones in the Zen Garden resemble challenges patients face along their journey. The Togetherness Garden is designed for patients and families to gather and reflect on their journey as they look upon the Togetherness Sculpture representing the survivor, their family and friends.
The Soleri bell, created by the artisans at Arcosanti, is the final symbol of hope. Patients ring the bell at the completion of their radiation treatment, symbolizing the end of the long, difficult journey they have endured. Irve “Chuck” Le Moyne, a cancer survivor and donator of the original bell at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, began the bell-ringing tradition to give patients a much-needed sense of closure after completion of radiation therapy. Patients also read his original poem: “Ring this bell, three times well, its toll to clearly say/My treatment’s done, this course is run, and I am on my way!”